What if I told you that you could gain 10 hours by spending one hour planning? Would you do it?
Brian Tracy, a recognized authority on achievement and leadership, says,
“Every minute you spend in planning saves 10 minutes in execution; this gives you a 1,000 percent Return on Energy!”
I’ve experienced the multiplier effect of planning in my work and personal life. Planning helped me pull my wedding together in 3 months (without a wedding planner) while juggling several international work trips. And planning made it possible for my acquisition team to successfully roll out our company’s first international acquisition across seven time zones – while we continued our “day” job.
Planning helps deliver results because it frees your energy and attention to implement.
Why Now Is the Time to Stop and Reset Your Plan
You increase the odds of completing big projects on time
Planning empowers you to break big projects and priorities into phases or sprints. These short-term milestones give your team tangible shared goals, enabling them to create progress and sustain momentum.
You empower your team to be more productive
McKinsey & Company found that top teams achieve their objectives more quickly if they slow down. Reset your plan, and you slow down. Slow down, and your team’s productivity will actually speed up because they know where to focus and execute.
You give yourself an execution advantage for the next quarter
The end of a quarter often feels frenzied. Taking time out to plan prevents the frenzy from spilling over into the following quarter. It lets you control where you invest most of your time and resources – and put the 80/20 rule into play.
How to Reset Your Plan
You can take one of two approaches to reset your plan. Use the first if your goals are fuzzy. Use the second if you’re clear on the big goals or priorities you aim to achieve for the quarter.
Approach #1: Commit to Three Big Goals, Create a 90-Day Plan to Support Them
If you’re not clear on your business goals for next quarter, do this:
- Decide on three big goals or projects.
- Write the goals so they are clear enough to communicate. (For example, launch updated company website by June 20.) Check out Smartsheet’s S.M.A.R.T goal-setting exercise if you help.
- Determine the steps you need to take to accomplish each goal. Do this with your team. And make sure each step has a date and a name responsible for it.
- Note the milestones, then put these and the goals in a 90-day plan.
- Communicate the plan to all involved (employees, contractors and vendors).
Approach #2: Evaluate Your Goals and Adjust Your Plan
If you’re clear on your goals for the quarter, do this:
- Assess your progress in reaching your goals based on your metrics for success.
- Ask: “What’s working?”, “What’s not working?”, and “What can we do to fix what’s not working?”
- Work with your team to identify any changes you need to make.
- Adjust your plan, Make sure each step has a date and name responsible for it.
- Communicate the changes and adjusted plan to all involved (employees, contractors and vendors).
Don’t Wait; Schedule Time Today to Reset Your Plan
Block time on your calendar for at least 60 minutes to assess your plan for the quarter. Hold this like you would a client appointment; DO NOT MOVE IT unless absolutely necessary.
Commit to reviewing your goals and adjusting the plans. Make sure key dates and milestones are on a shared 90-day calendar.
Communicate the big goals and 90-day plan with your team.
Plan the work, then work the plan to help you and your team make progress on the business goals that will move the needle and make you proud.